If you’ve ever given birth, you’re probably very familiar with the many ways that your body changes after your little miracle has come into the world. And while some of those changes amaze you—the way you can nourish your baby if you’ve chosen to nurse, for example—some of those changes are hardly ones to celebrate. In some cases, they can actually be cause for concern. These conditions, common though they may be, might need to be treated, so it’s important to recognize the signs that you may be suffering from postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction.
So just what is postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction? Generally, the terminology refers to postpartum problems including:
- Urinary incontinence after childbirth
- Pelvic pain after birth such as pelvic floor pain
- Fecal incontinence
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Urinary retention
These conditions are usually the result of damage to the uterus, bladder, or rectum, which can occur during vaginal delivery. Even the most routine vaginal delivery can cause damage to the pelvic organs, though the risk increases with the size of the baby’s head as well as its weight at birth. Prolonged delivery will also increase the risk, as longer labor requires more pushing.
Additional risk factors for postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction include:
- Deliveries requiring the use of a vacuum or forceps
- Age of the mother
- Multiple deliveries
- Nervous system disorders
- Greatly increased abdominal pressure
- History of pelvic surgery
- Poor diet
Fortunately, there are treatments for postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction, and the specialists at Coyle Institute have years of experience in diagnosing and effectively treating patients with these conditions. Depending on the cause and severity of the issue, treatment plans can include pelvic floor therapy using Kegels exercise to strengthen weakened pelvic floor muscles. Some instances of postpartum pelvic floor pain may need only lifestyle changes to be relieved, so speaking with a specialist will help identify the exact issue and determine what will be most beneficial and if surgery will be required.
You deserve the delivery of better health! Consult with the caring staff at Coyle Institute today!